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Opinion

It's time to offer a safe route for asylum seekers arriving in boats

The government's policy on asylum seekers isn't working. This reader has a suggestion for how the UK can step up to prevent more drownings

People marching and holding a Care4Calais banner that says refugees welcome

March Against Racism in Central London, 2022. Image: Alisdare Hickson on Flickr, CC2.0

Solution not persecution. We, as a nation, have blood on our hands. Too many have drowned. We are incapable of management (the process of dealing with or controlling things, or people). We can stop the drownings, curb the gangs and recover some national pride. How about BIG BOATS? We hire Brittany Ferries, (that will please the French) and offer a SAFE route for asylum seekers.

In French ports we board people with any documentation. We process them on board. Obvious failures are disembarked. We then sail for the UK. We rotate the locations of dockings so that all these sad souls are not all dumped in Kent. Successful applicants will have access to funds to get them started in the UK, rather than refugees giving that money to organised crime gangs. By docking at several ports in turn in the UK, local government can have respite before it is their turn again.

By processing on board the boats there are no pinch points and whatever is required, such as fingerprinting or biometric identification can be carried out in comfort and safety. Unaccompanied children and those who were sex trafficked at some stage of their journey can be identified and given assistance by support groups. Job centre staff can match our migrants to job vacancies. I think we can look after the good people and dishearten the crooks, but only if we shout down the naysayers.

Chris Sames, North Yorkshire

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